lemon water for weight loss

March 27, 2018 - by - in Nutrition

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So, what’s the truth behind lemon water? You can find inspiring claims like these all over the internet:

“Lose weight with lemon water!”
“Lemon water will encourage your metabolic process to wake up!”
“Drink this magical water to lose weight!”
“Make lemon water a part of your routine, it keeps skin young, aids in digestion, can help you lose weight!”

Is it the new solution to all our weight issues? Or is it just hype on social media?

The answers are yes, and no. Let’s take a look.

Does drinking lemon water help you lose weight?

The theory is simple: That drinking a daily glass of warm or hot water with lemon juice in it can help detoxify your body, aid your digestion, prevent dehydration, energize you and help with weight loss.

The main issue? A glass of water without lemon juice in it can help do all those things, too.

This doesn’t mean there’s no truth to the claims; just that the explanation for the benefits of lemon water are more common-sense and science than magic.

“Lemon water on its own is not a quick fix that magically boosts your metabolism or helps you lose weight,” says registered dietician and nutritionist Amy Gorin, M.S., R.D.N.  “But it does make water more palatable, and some preliminary research suggests that drinking water before a meal may help with weight loss.”

There are reasons for this. Drinking more water keeps the body hydrated, which can keep you from inadvertently reaching for snacks because you aren’t aware of your thirst. If lemon water replaces drinks that would contain sugar or more calories, that’s an instant win. And the tangy citrus scent of lemon can heighten your mood, which may help decrease emotional eating.

“The scent of a fresh fruit can do amazing things,” says Barbara Thornley, who coordinates the Mayo Clinic’s Integrative Medicine Program. Researchers at Mayo have studied the connection between mood and scent. “From what we’ve seen with our patients, even a quick smell can make a major difference.”

The true benefits of lemon water

Here are some more of the positive reasons to start your day with lemon water, compiled from reports by the Cleveland Clinic, ABC News, Women’s Health magazine, BBC Good Food and Medical Daily:

  • Lemon juice boosts your levels of Vitamin C:
    The United States Department of Agriculture says a fourth of a cup of lemon juice gives you about a third of your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C, which helps you resist catching a cold and is a documented anti-oxidant, repairing damage from free radical cells throughout your body.
  • It also contains potassium, magnesium, folate, B6 and vitamin E:  And it delivers these nutrients for only 27 calories and 3 grams of sugar in 4 ounces of lemon juice (compare that to 56 calories and 10.5 grams of sugar in 4 ounces of orange juice – and most of us consume about double that when we’re drinking orange juice).
  • Lemon helps you digest and detox: Lemon juice is acidic, and similar in characteristics to the digestive juices in your stomach. It slows digestion, which means your blood sugar stays steadier and you get more nutrients from your food. It can help with an upset stomach or indigestion, and it encourages the liver to flush toxins and make bile – a substance that keeps food moving through your stomach and intestines smoothly.
  • It can help you feel full: Lemons contain pectin, a kind of fiber many fruits have. Fiber helps you feel full longer, which may help you snack less.

Now, back to that question about lemon water and weight loss

So lemon water in and of itself is not a magical tonic. It’s not going to simply melt pounds away on its own (though wouldn’t that be nice?). But it does have credible health benefits, and those benefits do indeed help you lose weight, especially if drinking lemon water helps you increase your fluid intake, keeps you from consuming sugary drinks or snacks, slows your digestion so you don’t feel hungry, and introduces nutrients and antioxidants that help you feel better – which helps your mood, and probably your decisions about your day.

It’s also low-cost, and everyone can do it. The ultimate judge is you: Buy some lemons (organic if you can), squeeze half of one into a glass of warm water, and drink it every morning for two weeks. See how it makes you feel. If you don’t care for it warm, chill it. If you’re not loving it in the morning, try it in the afternoon, or after a workout. You’ll be able to tell whether it makes a difference for you…and if you see the number on the scale go down too, who can argue with that?

Information about weight loss

Losing weight isn’t easy. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, the pounds just won’t come off. Soma Weight Loss in Los Angeles is a bariatric surgery clinic that specializes in helping people achieve the weight loss they need and desire. For a self-evaluation quiz, click here.  To read about the clinic, click here, and if you have questions about bariatric surgery or wish to schedule a consultation, click here or contact Soma Weight Loss at 855-SOMA-411 (766-2411).

Marisol Avendano

Marisol Avendano is a Registered Nurse (RN) at Soma Weight Loss, where she has worked closely with bariatric surgery patients for over two years. Marisol received her B.S. in Nursing and Public Health from West Coast University in Irvine, California.